Recently I posted an article called, “Does God Want Us to Fear Him?” It was about the fact that the Hebrew word that we translate as “fear,” also means “awe” and “reverence.” Just now I picked up Rabbi Abraham Heschel’s classic book God in Search of Man and read a magnificent quote from him on […]
The word “fear” is common in the Old Testament, and to many it sounds like we should cringe in dread of God’s presence. We also find “fear” in the New Testament too. Why is there so much fear in the Bible?
Right now many of us are doing our Christmas shopping, and it is easy to focus on new things we wish we could have. We live in a consumer culture that revolves around having more “stuff.” Our status is based on money, and we are expected to dedicate all our time to achieving financial success. […]
The traditional Jewish prayers that Jesus and Paul prayed can deepen a Christian’s love for God and transform their spiritual lives.
With the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matt 7:2 . In Jesus’ words above about the “measure you use,” he was using a classic rabbinic idea called midah keneged midah (mee-dah kah-NEG-ed mee-dah), which means, literally, “measure corresponding to measure.” Paul also used this style of reasoning. Knowing more about the […]
Later rabbis actually agreed with Jesus’ about declaring things “korban.” Why? You need to know about this passionate culture where people often made rash vows.
We’re only a few days into 2013, and the year is still squeaky clean. A lot of us are going strong on our New Year’s resolutions. We’re full of fresh determination to be more thrifty, organized, slim and buff. In about a month or so, the glow will fade. You’ll realize that change is harder […]
How much can we really learn about the Jewishness of Jesus from Jewish sources? That’s a pretty fundamental question, since the goal of this website is to understand the Jewish background of Christianity. I’ve found some pretty important news about it, and wanted to share it here. A common approach to studying Jesus is to […]
[An excerpt from Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus (Zondervan, 2012)] My keys clattered onto the countertop, a relieved sigh escaping from my lips as I slipped off my Sunday coat. The morning had been filled with small irritations: the coffee I splattered on my new sweater, the nosy prayer chain coordinator who grilled […]
The words of Genesis 1 express a profound paradox: Though we’re as insignificant as dust, we reflect the glory of God himself.
Some months ago, pastor-blogger Trevin Wax posted an article called “Urban Legends: The Preacher’s Edition.” There he lists several “urban legends” that he’s heard floating around lately in sermons. Like Internet rumors that people forward on ad infinitum, these preaching illustrations don’t have much grounding in fact. One potential fallacy on his list caught my […]
If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell. Matthew 18:9 Some of the sayings of Jesus are so strong that we wonder if Jesus really […]